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The Power Play Comes Alive for St. Francis

The St. Francis Red Raiders (3-2, 6 PTS) had yet to score a goal on the power play this season coming into Saturday’s Division 3 game against Williamsville South (1-4, 2 PTS). But that streak ended Saturday as the Red Raiders netted two power plays goals on their way to a 5-3 win.

“I am thrilled, we had about twenty-one chances this year and haven’t had one power play goal”, St. Francis Head Coach Tim Benner said. “We were overdue.”

Despite the overdue accomplishment, the Red Raiders didn’t coast to victory. In fact, after getting a two-goal lead in the latter half of the third period, Will South come back and tied the game.

Luckily for St. Francis, Cody Felser found Matt Songin in front of the net with a minute and a half left for the game-winning goal.

Williamsville South’s points leader Zach Rehbaum made a beautiful pass to Colin Branka in front of the net to give the Billies an early lead.

Things went sour at the end of the first period for Will South as Jake Wehr was called for spearing, which not only disqualified the junior forward from the game but also gave St. Francis a four-minute power play opportunity.

Because the penalty took place late in the first, the Red Raiders had about three and a half minutes of a man advantage to start the second. St. Francis didn’t let the opportunity go to waste as Erik Pawelski found Ian Schmidt to tie the game.

Schmidt ended the game with two goals and an assist.

The Red Raiders jumped right off the opening faceoff Pawelski scored just 12 seconds into the third period, once again on the power play.

“We haven’t been playing well on the power play and we worked on it a lot in practice this week”, Schmidt said. “It showed today.”

A few minutes later Schmidt found classmate Ben Kyte in front of the net to give St. Francis the 3-1 lead.

But the Billies weren’t going away easy.

Senior Dylan Utz took a hard shot from the point that could not be handled and classmate Travis Porterfield buried the rebound five-hole.

Will South seemed to take all the momentum when Rehbaum found the back of the net to tie the game and then the Red Raiders took a penalty soon after the tying goal.

Head Coach Tim Benner was proud of the resilience his team showed coming back late and winning the game.

“Will South was coming hard at us in the third but our guys came back and answered”, Benner said. “It was a character win.”

Williamsville South is a young team this year with only nine seniors. Head Coach Sean Green saw improvement from his team but admits their youth showed.

“Every game is a learning experience for us, we’re learning that the little things matter”, Green said.

Sophomore defenseman John Galvin had three assists for St. Francis.

St. Francis will be back in action Thursday night as they come back to the Northtown Center for a 6:30pm faceoff against Sweet Home (1-1, 2 PTS). Will South will travel to Niagara University Friday night to take on Lew-Port (2-2, 4 PTS) at 8pm.

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